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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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tries in which the growing liberation of women has intensified motivation to limit family size, abortion has become a fundamental female right. Baird (54) calls abortion the "fifth freedom."
In eastern Europe this concept is written into justifications for the liberalization of abortion laws. The reasons given in 1955 were twofold. First, it was alleged that there were a large number of abortions being performed illegally, outside hospitals and under unsanitary conditions. Second, the rewriting of abortion laws was in better accord with the Leninist doctrine that no woman should be forced to bear a child she does not desire (55). Consequently, abortion was granted upon request in the Soviet Union, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania (56). Many women elsewhere do not find procedures so permissive; nevertheless, many do procure abortions, illegally, or legally on psychiatric or sociomedical grounds.
Two aspects of the emancipation of women are worthy of special mention: educational level and economic activity outside the home. However, these two factors are complex and consequently difficult to isolate in attempting to assess their effects on the dynamics of abortion.
Education of Women. Although more highly educated women tend to use the more effective contraceptives and to practice contraception more effectively, there is still a direct association between the level of a woman's education and her tendency to resort to abortion. Apparently, women with higher education are more highly motivated to limit their fertility by either contraception or abortion.
Studies from Taiwan, as shown in Figure 4, found that the higher the education of women, the higher the probability of their experiencing abortion. In India (34) and Korea (31) investigators reached similar conclusions.
In Lebanon, an interview sample of women who were Lebanese nationals, married only once and for more than 5 years, found that for both Muslims and Christians (Maronite and other Catholic) the educated admitted higher induced abortion rates than the uneducated (58). In the city sample the educated Muslims had higher reported rates than the educated Christians; the reverse was true for the uneducated groups. Both the percentage of pregnancies ending in abortion and the percentage of woman married over 10 years who resorted to abortion were higher among the more educated women regardless of their religion or place of residence.
A study from Cali, Colombia (59), concludes that university graduates have the highest abortion rates. Among primary school graduates, there was a rate of 12.5 abortions per 100 pregnancies; for university graduates, 33.5.
In Japan 2,811 women were questioned regarding their experience with induced abortion. Of the highly educated women 46.5 percent said they had resorted to induced abortion, but only 37 percent of the less educated had done so (60).